Daily Devotions from The Word Of God… From the heart of Ed Algreen

Archive for the ‘Separation’ Category

Signs of Maturity

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Corinthians 3:2-3 (TLB)

TEXT:  …even now you still have to be fed on milk. For you are still only baby Christians, controlled by your own desires, not God’s. When you are jealous of one another and divide up into quarreling groups, doesn’t that prove you are still babies, wanting your own way? In fact, you are acting like people who don’t belong to the Lord at all. 

OBSERVATION:   In our verses today Paul tells the Corinthian church, and our own churches that preach and teach the Bible today, that there are some tell-tale signs of immaturity, and when we notice these things finding their way into our circle of friends, we really need to seek God’s face in earnest. These recognized, unfortunate signs that go untreated will not only hinder the growth of Christians, but act as a cancer in the work of the church. Let’s explore this subject some more….

APPLICATION:   I believe that at times we may read our Bible and feel so sorry for the people referred to in the Bible. ‘Those poor people struggled so much in those days’ may be some of the things that we think or say about certain passages of Scripture. But friends, may I remind you that because our Lord is very much alive and well, His Word is just as applicable to our lives and our churches today. In fact, we hear way too often about divisions in families and in our churches today, over very silly things. While Satan is often at the root of our problems, these things happen because he first got to an individual who shared with another, who shared with a group that quickly grew into a larger group that distracted, or even disrupted the work of the Lord in that particular  church. I’m sure the BIG question is probably, how do we avoid this, or how can we possibly prevent this? Based on advice given to us further down in the same chapter, we must truly pray for our pastors and leaders. These individuals have been called to the awesome work and ministry of Jesus Christ, but they are mortal man. While Jesus is no match for Satan, our human leaders are, and Satan is out to get them and to stop the work of his rival. Furthermore, we should be in constant prayer for one another. There are not many things that we do each day where we have someone waiting to pounce on us and trip us up, like Satan. He is our opposer, our deceiver and our enemy. Unfortunately he is stronger than us, and will work his way into our lives without us noticing. Friends, separation from God leaves a playground for Satan. Just as you and your spouse might separate if you have no form of relationship, the same thing happens when your relationship with God is weak and struggling.

PRAYER:   Precious Lord, take my hand, please lead me beyond the struggles of this world and its ruler, Satan. Lord, I pray that Your powerful hand will hover over Your saints today, so that we may represent You well and enable us to live and work in peace and joy to serve You before a lost world. The most important thing in this world is You Jesus, please help us to stand firm in our commitment to make You the most important thing in our lives today, AMEN! 

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

Looking For A Way Out?

The Bible – The Message

1 Corinthians 7:17

                And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life. Don’t think I’m being harder on you than on the others. I give this same counsel in all the churches.

Thoughts:

Several truths invigorated my devotional time as I read this passage this morning, as I was reminded of how Paul addressed the Corinthian church concerning marriages, specifically marriages with one partner being a Christian and the other not. I found it interesting to note how little our culture has changed over the thousands of years! However, I bolded a couple of places in these verses that, I believe, God wanted me to tune into. I once had the honor of spending some time with an elderly couple, and the gentleman once remarked how interesting it is to note how a person can find so much fault, and problems with a car, once they have made up their minds that they want to buy a new one!! Doesn’t this sound a lot like what Paul was addressing in this verse? For he reminded the Corinthians that God has placed you in a specific place to serve a certain purpose for Him, so stay put and allow Him to do His mighty work. Quit looking for all the faults with the other spouse, and be God to them. Portray the characteristics of God. You know them, because as you read the Word of God you learn His character and also the mind of Christ. The other part of Paul’s instructions that challenged me, is that we are to be careful not to allow our circumstances, or our company, or our workers, or our relationships, or even our church define us. God is our focus, He is our guide, He is our example, and it is He who should define our character. In other words, we should act, speak and love so much like Christ that folk should stand in awe at the image of Christ in us. In fact, because of Christ’s qualities being expressed through us, folk should want to run towards God, and not away from Him. So how is it with you friend? Are you looking for a way out of your present circumstances, or are you looking for ways to enhance them so that they will look more like the image of Christ because you are there? I trust that it is the latter!

Prayer:

Father, there are so many circumstances in our lives that we can apply this teaching to. For some it may be a relationship, or a marriage, or a church, or a job, or a home, or a multitude of other things. Too often we convince ourselves that if only we could escape the circumstances, then things would be better. But Lord You have shown us over and over again that our lives are to be all about You, and not driven by our circumstances or the people around us. The institution of marriage is in trouble today, probably worse than in Paul’s days of ministry. Please allow Your Word to be deeply embedded into the lives of couples who are struggling. Please especially speak to spouses today who have drifted away from You and allowing other worldly circumstances to drive their decisions. In many cases there are children watching dads and/or moms make disastrous decisions that will have strong, negative impacts on their survival as a child of Yours. Please bring this verse fresh in the hearts and lives of those that need this word today, so that they may refocus their lives and their marriages on You. Thank You Father for Your Word that is so powerful and relevant to every circumstance, even today. Thank You for guiding me to Your Word every day. Please challenge the hearts of Your children with a renewed desire to follow You, so that we can all be refresh and reminded of the Rule Book by which we should live. You are holy, and we are not, please allow a little of Your holiness to soak into our lives and our character, so that we may be more apt to obey You in all things. I ask all this in the precious name of Your precious Son, Jesus my Lord, AMEN!

 

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

Do You Have Judas Traits?

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 26.  

OBSERVATION
(What is God saying here?)

Matthew 26:14-15 (NLT)

14 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests

15 and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver.

APPLICATION
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Although a familiar passage, I was reminded this morning about how little it takes for us to betray Jesus. We look down our pious noses at Judas, call him a traitor and all sorts of bad things, but which of us are better today? Stop and think about this friend, Why do we have so many church members that never see the doors of a church week after week? Could it be that they accepted the bribes of worldly pleasure, or bribes from family to spend more time with them, or the bribes of Satan that this is the only day for them to rest, or the only day for them to do what they want to do? In my opinion, this betrays the love of, and dedication for, Jesus in return for these types of bribes/excuses. Have you asked the question that Judas asked recently – “what will I benefit from turning away from God (betraying Him)?” Money/greed was the motive behind Judas’ betrayal. What’s your motive/excuse for betraying Him today?

PRAYER
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father, with everything You had to offer, You showed Your love for me, You sacrificed everything so that I might live eternally with You. Please help this child of Yours to stand firm on the decision I made some 35 years ago, and to follow You wholeheartedly each and every day. In fact, may I follow Your ways and Your commands so closely that non-Christians would recognize You in me and in my actions. More importantly, may You find me faithful, worthy to represent You to the unsaved that I come in contact with, and encouragement to those that have accepted You as Lord of their life. Lord, please correct my attitude and/or actions long before I ever get near enough to even think about betraying You. Thank You for loving me, now may I love You in return without any hint of betrayal.

‘Til Death Do Us Part!

SCRIPTURE

Studied: Mark 10

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

Mark 10:1-12 ~ After Jesus left, he went to Judea and then on to the other side of the Jordan River. Once again large crowds came to him, and as usual, he taught them. Some Pharisees wanted to test Jesus. So they came up to him and asked if it was right for a man to divorce his wife. Jesus asked them, “What does the Law of Moses say about that?” They answered, “Moses allows a man to write out divorce papers and send his wife away.” Jesus replied, “Moses gave you this law because you are so heartless. But in the beginning God made a man and a woman. That’s why a man leaves his father and mother and gets married. He becomes like one person with his wife. Then they are no longer two people, but one. And no one should separate a couple that God has joined together.” When Jesus and his disciples were back in the house, they asked him about what he had said. He told them, “A man who divorces his wife and marries someone else is unfaithful to his wife. A woman who divorces her husband and marries again is also unfaithful.” (CEV)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

I believe that most of us have encountered divorce in some part of our family, either directly or indirectly through a family member. I don’t believe that it is ever pretty, or mutually agreeable, because someone often gets hurt, in fact I would dare say that many times many people get hurt. I am not here to judge anyone who makes such a decision, but I feel like this is something that perhaps someone who may be considering divorce today may need to hear. In fact, if I skip over this ‘Nugget’ in Mark 10 I believe that I could be considered like the folk that Moses dealt with in his day, I could be accused of being heartless. To those that are struggling in their marital relationship today I would ask that you consider the following tips that I discerned from God’s Word, and the sensitivity of this was heightened this morning when I read this passage:

  • God made us in His own image – I don’t believe that this pertains only to bodily form, or not just in character like Him, but in whole I believe that He made us to be imitators of Him in every way. For instance, He is known as ‘love’. He taught us to love like He does. He loved us so much that He sacrificed His one and only Son so that we may have…. If we are to be imitators of Him, why would we turn our heads on a spouse that God has blessed us with? God never faltered in His love for us, why would we falter in our love for our spouse?
  • Is your marriage in trouble because you believe that you found someone else better looking? Remember that beauty comes from within, not outward beauty.
  • Is your marriage in trouble because your spouse is cheating on you? Look deep inside and try to determine why you have allowed this. Is it because of Neglect? Not showing your love? Not praising them when appropriate?
  • Is your marriage in trouble because you have been distracted with someone else of the opposite sex in your circle of friends or coworkers? In your marriage vows you promised to pledge your allegiance and love to only your spouse. Don’t put yourself in the position of allowing someone else to interfere in your vow and in your marital relationship.
  • Is your marriage in trouble because you never included God in your union with each other? It is not too late. Go to God in prayer, with your spouse, asking God to be a part of your union and to help you maintain a strong, loving and happy relationship with Him and with each other. Remember, God is bigger than all of our troubles and when you welcome Him to be a part of your life, He can work miracles in your situation. Draw close to Him and He will draw close to you.

As your relationships are mended you will find much less stress in your life. In fact, with a happy and loving relationship with each other and God, you will find that you can deal with everything else! Let God be a part, won’t you?

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord Jesus, I thank You for being a part of my marriage. I thank You for holding our hands and helping us to overcome those times when we struggled and when we doubted Your presence. You have truly been an inspiration in our lives and in our marriage and I pray that You will continue to bless our marriage, because I know that old Satan could easily interfere if we let our guards down or if we exclude You, our source of power and strength. May we be a blessing to others that may be struggling in their marriage? May Your love and Your light shine so brightly in us that others may be touched and encouraged? May You receive honor and glory for anything and everything accomplished as a result of our union. Please continue to be instrumental in our individual lives and in our marriage. Thank You Lord Jesus!

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